ARKABUTLA, Miss. (WMC) - A wildlife rehabilitation center in Mississippi says they’re overwhelmed with the response from the community since they started caring for a severely injured bald eagle.
Five days ago, Debbie Crum, assistant wildlife director of the non-profit Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation received a desperate call about a bald eagle hit by a car in New Albany.
“The person was traumatized, upset. It was of course our nation’s bird,” said Crum.
When the eagle arrived at the Arkabutla Lake Animal Hospital, it was in rough shape. She was having trouble breathing and her legs and lower body were limp.
She has been through surgery and at one point was put on oxygen for 24 hours.
“It was pretty bad,” said Crum. “It’s been a long five days. She has a fracture in her spine.”
After posting updates to social media, Crum says the community response has been tremendous!
Several people, including the owner of the Southaven Mosquite Chophouse restaurant, brought dozens of pounds of fresh meat and fish for food.
Industrial gas company Nexair also donated several oxygen tanks that were critical to help the eagle breathe.
“For that brief time, it didn’t matter anything about who we were, where we lived, who we voted for, it was all eagle,” said Crum.
“Times like these where you see the beauty and everybody is out there wanting the best and rooting,” said Stephanie Hogan, Volunteer Wildlife Specialist.
Unfortunately, Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation received awful news Tuesday afternoon.
A panel of veterinarians concluded the eagle will never regain use of her talons and legs and her quality of life will be forever impaired.
The eagle was euthanized late Tuesday afternoon.
“If I can give freedom to a bird whether it be freedom of flight and go back out into the wild or freedom of pain, relieving her pain and suffering, then we’ve done our job,” Crum told us before the news of the Eagle’s death.
Crum says she’ll never forget this eagle and the incredible impact she made on her north Mississippi community.
“It’s an honor. There’s not many birds that bring the community together like the bald eagle does,” said Crum while getting emotional.
If you would like to donate to help Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation build a flight cage of their own so they can give full care to injured birds like this eagle in the future, click this link: http://www.mswildliferehab.com/.